The Scriptorium

Here's the Deal

Boaz is faithful to God's Law in all things. Ruth 4.3, 4

Redeemed for Redemption (2)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 119.12-14
Blessed are You, O LORD!
Teach me Your statutes.
With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.

Sing Psalm 119.12-14

(Passion Chorale: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)
Be blessed, O God our Savior; teach us Your holy Word!
Our lips proclaim with favor the statutes of the Lord.
How great our joy, dear Jesus, to follow in Your ways.
What more than this could please us, or brighten all our days?

Read Ruth 4.3, 4

1. Summarize the issue Boaz raised to the elders and the near-kinsman.

2. How did the kinsman initially respond?

Boaz reasoned from Numbers 27.8-11. We don’t know the exact relation between Elimelech and the near-kinsman. The statute of Numbers 27, which is an elaboration of the eighth commandment, guided Boaz in thinking through the proper prosecution of the situation. Boaz omitted nothing, though, as we shall see, he unfolded the case in stages. He presented the facts and the interpretation as best he understood them. It would remain for the elders to deliberate and approve whatever course of action might ensue.

It is instructive to consider that Boaz, a businessman with many responsibilities, would have been so well-versed in God’s Law. We can also see in his argument that he is a man of grace. A lesser man might have been tempted to lead with what would turn out to be the deal-breaker – the Moabitess. But Boaz wanted the redeemer to be able to think clearly about what he might gain or relinquish, without cluttering the case with details he would present at the proper time.

The Law of God is powerful to guide believers in the proper way of serving the Lord in our relationships, roles, and responsibilities. It cannot save; nevertheless, only obedience to the Law and the complete achievement of its righteousness and the satisfaction of its judgments against sin can bring us to salvation. This is what Jesus Christ accomplished on behalf of all who believe. Our story invites us to consider the redemptive power of God’s Law at this point; however, it will do so in an even more breathtaking way in just a bit.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
There is a vast difference between property and human life.
Also between wise and unwise business deals.
And Boaz’ business deal points this out carefully.

The near-kinsman was all about buying and owning more property but was not so keen on taking on the responsibilities of another person.
I appreciate this about him. His honesty. His integrity. His family.

And Boaz, for his part, was living as Jesus would later expound upon: “‘Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves’” (Matt. 10.16). He was careful with his speech: wise and harmless, yet effective.

He cared about Ruth as a person; he did not need the land as he was already very wealthy. So the way he presented this deal was important. And needed God’s wisdom.

We are given this same wisdom through God’s Word to use in our day-to-day dealings in the world, whether it pertains to people, property, or any other aspect of life.

Paul wrote to Timothy explaining that the Holy Scriptures are “able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3.15-17).

Boaz knew that following the Law of God to the letter was the way to life and peace.

Here’s the Deal. “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Prov. 16.7).

1. Boaz had to interpret the Law of God into his situation, since it didn’t match the Law exactly. What would you say are the keys to rightly interpreting God’s Law?

2. Why do you think Boaz didn’t mention Ruth at this point in the deliberation?

3. What can you do to bring more of the wisdom and love of God’s Law into your daily life (Ps. 1.1-3)?

Fair and open dealing in all matters of contract and trade, is what all must make conscience of, who would approve themselves true Israelites, without guile. Honesty will be found the best policy. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Ruth 4.1-8

Lord, let Your Spirit guide me in understanding Your Law and all Your Word, and I will…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 119.12-17
Pray that God will direct your steps this day, in everything you do, to obey His Law and all His Word.

Sing Psalm 119.12-17
(Passion Chorale: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)
We contemplate Your precepts and cherish all Your ways,
delighting in Your statutes, rememb’ring all our days.
With wondrous bounty bless us, Your humble servants, Lord,
that we may live with Jesus and keep His holy Word.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Ruth by clicking here. You can download all the studies in the Ruth series by clicking here.

Check out the changes in The Ailbe Bookstore. Our workbook, God’s Covenant, can help you to see where the book of Ruth fits into the whole of Scripture’s story. Order your copy by clicking here – free of charge!

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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers are from Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel: Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV, John R. Franke, ed, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2005). All quotations from Matthew Henry are from Matthew Henry Concise Commentary, E-text version Copyright (c) 1996, 2002 Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All quotes from Earl Radmacher are from The NKJV Study Bible, copyright ©1997, 2007 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006) (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore